A stroke is also called a Cerebral Vascular Accident. It is a condition that happens when the blood flow to the brain is interrupted long enough to cause damage. The blood flow may be interrupted due to a narrowed artery, a clot that blocks the artery or a rupture in the artery.
A stroke can cause permanent brain damage. Medication can significantly improve the outcome of a stroke when given during the first 3 hours of the onset of the signs and symptoms (the critical time frame during which the “clot busting” drugs can be the most effective).
Signs and Symptoms:
A sudden severe headache, especially when a blood vessel breaks in the brain (ruptured brain aneurism)
Confusion: The person becomes confused and may not remember their name or where they are
One side of the face may droop
Difficulty in speaking: Paralysis on one side of the face may make it difficult to speak or the blockage in the brain may be in the area that affects the speech. In this case it is possible they may not make any sense when they speak.
Loss of bladder and bowel control
Paralysis or weakness (usually on one side): The person may not be able to hold up an arm up or walk properly.
Change in the level of consciousness: The person may go from being alert and awake to confused, drowsy and possibly unconscious. This could happen quickly or it may take hours to occur.
Visual disturbances: The vision may become blurry, or the person could possibly lose their vision. There may be other visual disturbances also.
Stay calm and make sure the area is safe for you to enter.
Perform a primary survey. Check for a clear airway and if they are breathing adequately as well as a fast bleed check.
Activate Emergency Services.
Loosen tight clothing and monitor the airway.
Don’t give the person anything to eat or drink.
Protect the person. They may not be able to feel any pain in the affected areas or be able to move away from something that could harm them.
Prepare to do CPR if needed.
TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack):
Transient ischemic attacks are also referred to as mini or little strokes. This is a condition that may present itself with the same signs and symptoms as a stroke. The difference is that the signs and symptoms are temporary. They may last for minutes, or hours, but the person will go back to normal and regain use of the affected parts.
A problem occurs that when a person shows the signs and symptoms of a TIA and they go back to normal. People around them think they are OK and there shouldn’t be any concern. This is a mistake. Many people have had several TIAs before they had a stroke ending with permanent damage.
A TIA is an important warning sign and medical should be sought. TIAs can happen at home or at the workplace.